I’ve never subscribed to the “love it or leave it” way of thinking when it comes to matters of country, government, society and the like. I’m more of an “if you love it but are not entirely thrilled with the way things are or the direction it is headed, than use whatever powers you have and try to change it for the better” type of girl. That’s not exactly poster board friendly, though, and it’s certainly not a great chant.
I am, though, starting to feel a tingling of indignation towards these weather haters I keep encountering! We had a cool front move through here in Tampa this past weekend – which, for your northerners, means is was clear, sunny and in the 60’s during the day – and I kept hearing “Oh, wouldn’t it be great if it was like this all the time.” Finally, when it wasn’t eavesdropping and this comment was actually directed towards me I said, “No! It would NOT be! This is Florida! I LIKE that it is in the 90’s during the summer! I LIKE thunderstorms and lightning! I can’t WAIT until summer is here again and the mosquitoes are as big as bats. I LOOOOooooove knowing, when I step out to my car in the morning, that my glasses are going to fog up!”
My rant was probably longer than that in real life. I tend to go off on embarrassingly long tirades like that.
The truth is – of course I enjoy days like that. I think it’s nice … for a change. I also (believe it or not, Midwesterners) enjoy the predictability of the unrelenting heat. I happen to love knowing that I can wear tank tops and flip flops for 10 months of the year. I don’t mind sweating if I decide I wish to spend the day outdoors. Sure, there are activities where the heat isn’t the most enticing thing (RayJay in the early part of the football season) but I’ve found I’m so conditioned that I can’t go into a pool or to the beach if it’s below 82F and I’m freezing if it’s below 78 in my house. There are those of us that truly enjoy this part of the Florida climate.
My favorite television meteorologist, Howard Shapiro, with his endless need to educate viewers, informed me yesterday that Tampa saw 108 days in the year 2007 where we topped 90F. That’s a major portion of the year! Certainly more truly hot days than most areas north of us will ever see.
And, yes, we KNOW it gets just as hot where you come from, too. Not for that length of time, though, Yankee. You don’t win some imaginary prize for that, though, and guess what – it doesn’t snow here. EVER! Well, at least not since 1977 and for me that’s ever and then some. I WIN!
So, finally, here comes my point. No matter how much you say you love it here, those hot days are a huge part of what we are and no power you have is going to alter this. In fact, over the next several hundred years, it may just be getting hotter. You do have a choice here, folks. You even have a choice where you can still tell people that you live in the great state of Florida – although, we tend to call that lower Alabama. So – change what you can in the name of love. Change elected officials, change laws, change outdated ways of thinking, change religion and change your underwear several times a day during the Florida summer – but you can’t change the weather. Buy some sun block and one of those goofy misting fan spray bottle deals and meet me at Picnic Island or Simmons Park this August so we can embrace the Tampa sunshine. Early, though, those damn thunderstorms start just after noon.